Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #1
 Chris Mowry
Pencils: Matt Frank Inks: Matt Frank
Language: English Release: 2013
Publisher: IDW Publishing Pages: 32
Colors: Ronda Pattison Cover: Matt Frank
Monster Appearances: Aliens, SDF, & Misc Appearances:
Godzilla, Zilla, Gigan, Kumonga, Rodan, Anguirus, Hedorah, Mothra, SpaceGodzilla, Titanosaurus, Battra, Gorosaurus, Shockirus N/A
Anthony Romero

First issue from the new creative team, backed by artist Matt Frank from Godzilla Legends #1 and writer Chris Mowry from Godzilla Legends #4, and the series is off to a good, energetic start, packed with action and incredible art, although feeling a little light in the character department.

For the plot, the submarine USS Wimbish is tracking a creature headed toward Honolulu that might be Godzilla. As fate would have it, the vicinity is hosting a National Megazoology Conference for enthusiasts to try and track and learn more about the rash rise in kaiju. Meanwhile, Gigan emerges far from the Grand Canyon, having survived his battle with Rodan and Anguirus in Godzilla #12. However, the cyborg is not alone...

All in all, the story plays clean up by addressing the who and what for the various monsters following the closure of the previous series after Godzilla #13 (yet to be released... although no real spoilers for the series other than which monsters survive). The issue has a couple of great action moments, which I will go into in a moment, and introduces readers to Lucy Casprell, a kaiju enthusiast. I assume Lucy will be reoccurring due to the early focus, but the issue is really lacking on a compelling hook for the character who at this point feels very vapid and if there is something more interesting to her it's not being teased at.

That said, I have held back on spoilers, but the barrage is about to be unleashed so please turn back now to avoid them. That out of the way, the other major character of the book is Steven Woods, last seen returning Mechagodzilla to the president way back in Godzilla Kingdom of Monsters #10. However, the characterization feels a little off, more like Boxer who was rough and in your face rather than the more cold and distant personality that Steven Woods had.

To continue with the spoilers, it's time to talk about the art, and Matt Frank really hits one out of the park with this issue. Since Godzilla Legends #1, the human art has greatly improved, while still a little rough it looks leaps and bounds ahead of the more Anime style seen last year. Where Matt really shines is the kaiju, and this comic does not disappoint there. The personal highlight for me was the fantastic and creative Kumonga vs. Gigan fight. Frank is excellent with the details here, including the cracked visor on Gigan from his earlier tussle with Rodan, while the webbed lair of Kumonga is excellent and leads to six pages of bliss with a great battle between the two. Frank also packs the issue with a lot of Easter eggs for fans, from the obvious Gotengo model, to stuff you will really have to look to find, such as the Shockirus from The Return of Godzilla (1984) and the Yahlen from Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966) in the two page spread.

In regards to the covers, being a series starter, this issue has a few to choose from. The lead cover is done by series artist Matt Frank and is an excellent fold cover featuring Godzilla, Gigan, Rodan, Kiryu, Mothra, Varan and Destoroyah with all of the monsters looking great and some interesting design choices for a few, with Rodan being based on the Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964) version. The first variant cover is done by fan favorite Bob Eggleton and features an amazing shot of the Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002) Godzilla swimming against a purple sky. Finally, the last variant is by Art Adams with Gigan in a style that mimics those that started in Godzilla Legends. All in all, you can't go wrong with any of the three choices to the point where it's almost impossible to pick a clear winner.

Overall, a good and satisfying start. The series could go either way from here, but is certainly packed with enough fan service to satisfy the more hardcore Godzilla crowd out there. Here is to hoping the human cast fleshes out a bit more to lead to a robust feeling to the series on both fronts as the issues keep rolling in.

Variant Covers